There are many niche sports in the world that sometimes get forgotten because of the likes of other sports such as football. One of these sports is cycling – even with the massive fan base it has you don’t see as much coverage as it deserves.
This is strange as so many people enjoy actually taking their bikes outside in their free time and exercising. There are still so many different competitions happening all the time however, and with these there are also people who like to make predictions on who they think will come out on top by putting their money on it.
This has never been easier to do than now with the age of the internet and online casinos and bookies – they now own their own websites such as Lucky Nugget. These allow you to place bets at home instead of leaving for the bookies on the high street; moreover, after you are finished with your bets you can go and play many of the different games offered at the online casino also.
With so many competitions it is sometimes surprising that so many people can only name the Tour de France as a cycling race, but this kind of road race is only one of many types of cycling. For example there is mountain biking which is the total opposite to a road race in which you must tackle very difficult terrain in order to finish the course in the fastest time possible. This is done wherever there is a mountain.
Or if rough terrain is not for you then you might be more interested in the indoor version of cycling where the competitors race on a smooth wooden track and everything comes down to split seconds between the different riders. Whatever it is that takes your fancy there is more to cycling than just the normal road races.
Matt White, the famous cycling coach is poised to return back to his career of a cycling coach after serving a six months ban for doping. The international cycling community is ready to welcome the coach due to his characteristic of honesty.
The decision of White to confess the guilt of doping on a ride with Armstrong’s Portal Service Team of US, made the mentor lose his job from the Orica- Green EDGE and Cycling Australia. Although Matt White has served a suspension of six months, sources indicate that this was the result of Anti Doping authority of Australian Sports.
The Olympian winner has also been investigated by other agencies and also been a subject to the probe by Nicki Vance. Vance’s investigation study will be released finally after two weeks.
Matt White, himself stood down from his position as the sports director of Orica-GreenEDGE last year, when the revelation of his involvement in illegal practices of doping
As soon as the reports proved him guilty, Matt White surrendered his position as a CA and as the sports director of the Orica-GreenEDGE team last year. He admitted to have engaged in illegal practices of such drugs when doping was rife.
The officials of Orica-GreenEDGE yesterday have not commented on the possibilities or eligibility of Matt’s return to the sport of cycling or a reunion of the team with its past director.
There have been examples for such a move in World Tour ranks. The candid approach of White for the investigators might give him a chance at redemption.
Other dope riders who have confessed to their doping habits are Garman boss, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Millar.
Lance Armstrong, Matt White’s partner in this guilt has been banned for life in the US. Irrespective of how the events have turned out, Orica-GreenEDGE is still participating in the Giro d’Italia race which starts this Saturday.
Malaysia seems to be in a great place in the Tour of Thailand 2013. All thanks to Sea Kong and Saiful Aziz. Yesterday was truly an exciting day for the Malay cycling enthusiasts as Keong emerged victorious in the 2nd stage of the 2013 Tour of Thailand and Saiful Aziz from Terengganu Cycling team took up the green & yellow jerseys. The Tour of Thailand this year started from April 1 and would continue till April 6, 2013.
Sea, 26, launched his solo attack yesterday in the last 2 kms of 112 km stage of the high profile cycling tour starting from the Hua Hin region to the Prachap Khiri area to achieve the 2nd stage victory of his cycling career. The win came 5 years after Keong’s first stage win that was also in the renowned Thailand cycling tour in the year 2008.
“In the last 2 kilometers, I planned to ride on my pace & I simply went for that”, stated Sea who has moved to 8th position in general classification. “It feels great to win a stage once again after such a long span. My present focus would be to enhance my standings in general classification”.
Saiful Aziz, who came 3rd in the opening stage on Monday, moved to overall lead yesterday with an advantage of 2-second over Choi Ho from Hong Kong and 4-seconds from William Walker (City of Perth), the erstwhile coach on national road-cycling.
Sebastien Duclos, the team coach from Terengganu Cycling group remarked that the team’s mission is to defend the lead achieved by Saiful yet admitted that it’s a huge task for the team. In his own words-“Yes it would be tough as Hong Kong is backed by a mighty team & tomorrow (today) would be a lengthy 190 km stage. However, we would try our best to hold the jersey”.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) officially announced that they will be allowing nineteen international teams to participate in the WorldTour, 2013. This news comes as a result of Katusha from Russia winning the case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the sport’s governing body, which had previously denied its WorldTour status.
Traditionally the UCI announces eighteen teams for each season, this year however Katusha’s appeal was rejected by the body stating Katusha didn’t meet certain ethical standards. This resulted in the Team appealing to CAS.
CAS made a statement on behalf of Team Katusha’s appeal stating that the grounds under which UCI’s body Independent Licence Commission had decided not to provide the Russian Team with WorldTour license weren’t strong. They thus considered the application of the Katusha staff demanding to be registered and recognized as a UCI ProTeam for the new season 2013 as valid, last Friday.
This was followed by the press release of the UCI addressing the above event stating UCI has announced to allow nineteen international registered teams for the world tour this season. The body further addressed the decision of the CAS on the 15th of February, 2013 which had allowed the Katusha Management SA to become as registered team under the UCI ProTeam.
The decision has come at a time, when several of the prestigious cycling race events are already finished with chalking out their line-ups like the RCS body for the Giro d’Italia which has already finalized their wildcard entry teams. Due to delay in the motion, Katusha isn’t one of teams to be selected. The WorldTour status also implies that the Giro must have a 23rd spot for a team in the race or pull back one of their wildcard entries, something which they won’t be yielding too.
Alberto Contactor, well renowned Spanish professional cyclist is all set to take part in the Tour de San Luis. He won back the hearts of his fans after he made his comeback and won the Vuelta-a- Espana in 2012. He was stripped off some of his titles and banned for a few seasons after he failed a dope test. But he completed his ban and came back and won the Vuelta-a- Espana thus regaining his own confidence and the love of his fans as well.
The Tour de San Luis started in 21st January 2013 and is scheduled to end of the 27th of January, 2013. But Albert and his Team were more than willing to just take part in the race. Planning to give it their 100% Contador and his teammates Jesus Hernandez, Sergio Paulinho, Niki Sorensen, Benjamin Noval, and Bruno Pires from Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank left for Argentina early in January. They said that they have an extensive training program to execute before the race so that they are ready to take on the teams in a more competitive and aggressive manner this time. They felt that practicing in Argentina would make more sense and they will be able to accustom to the roads there too, if they go out early.
He also added that he will be taking part in the Tour of Oman from 11th to 16th February 2013 after his race at the Tour de San Luis. He has expressed his desire to win the Tour de France title this year. In March he will be racing at the Crieterium International and the Tirreno-Adriatico as well. So overall, the New Year seems to have started off well with a lot of work remaining as well for Albert. At the moment he said that he and his Team and concentrating completely on the Tour de San Luis.
The former Olympic cyclist of South Africa, David George, was banned from the international arena of cycling for two years. South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport has recently come up with their verdict which declared the ban on George.
David was a former teammate of Lance Armstrong in the U.S. Postal Service team and he was summoned by SAIDS to attain the disciplinary committee meeting. But he chose not to go there and instead he told the committee that he had taken the blood booster EPO and it should not be considered as doping. The chief executive of SAIDS, Khalid Galant, reported the incident and said they had no other option but to ban David George as he chose not to give any evidences.
Meanwhile, The USADA report charged Lance Armstrong with the intake of performance enhancing drugs and stripped him off of his seven Tour de France titles. They also deduced that Armstrong had committed the most “sophisticated” crime in the history of this sports industry. A number of teammates of Armstrong gave their testimonies against him and it led to show that Armstrong forced some of his teammates to take the banned drugs along with him.
So the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport had to take this matter very seriously and they came up with a tough decision. When asked about George’s version of the episode, Gallant claimed that he had accepted the intake of Erythropoietin. On the other hand, George himself said that cycling had always been a confusing place for him. He accepted that cycling has given him man good memories but at the same time he has gone through a number of rough phases which an athlete never wants to go through. George has to surrender all the prize money and competition points which he gained after 5th November.
Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador was never a man who shied away from the spotlight and after his declined performance at the UCI Road World Time Trial event, he made it clear to the journalists assembled at the event that he was disappointed with him, and would try to do better next time around. Having secured the overall victory at his home Grand Tour in the Vuelta a Espana, the Spaniard had at least a top three finish at the 45.7 km Elite Men time trial event that happened on Wednesday.
But the former Tour de France champion had to suffer disappointment in the end with his poor performance being just good enough for an overall finish in 9th. Tony Martin took the contest, a staggering 2 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador and the Spaniard had no qualms in commending the performances that the German put out throughout the event, adding that if anyone deserved the win based on their performance, it was Martin.
Commenting about his own performance, the Spaniard admitted that even at the beginning, he wasn’t feeling much good. He mentioned that he could feel his legs deserting after just 8 or 9 kilometers of the race and that ruined his focus completely. He mentioned that the overtake by Tony Martin was the worst thing that could happen at that time, he added that he knew Martin would be going for the winning time and although he tried to keep pace with him, it just wasn’t possible in the end.
Alberto Contador mentioned that he knew the medal was out of his reach and he just wanted to be within touching distance of the German, but what panned out for him in the end cannot be put to words, with the 29 year old finishing long after the German.
Disgraced British rider David Millar has been given the chance to redeem himself in the Olympic Games after being named in the Great Britain cycling squad for the upcoming London Olympic Games 2012.
The 35 year old Millar had been banned from cycling for two years after he was found to have been guilty of taking the banned substance EPO, a blood booster in 2004.
He missed the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008 at Athens and Beijing because he was banned from the Olympic Games for life but had that ruling overturned just two months back in the courts, making him eligible for selection for the London Olympic Games and today, he has been named in the squad alongside the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and others.
David Millar has been shortlisted for the final selection with seven other riders who are fighting for five spots in the team for the Olympic road race that takes place on the 28th of July. However, according to the reports that have been received, it is highly likely that he will be named in the final list as well along with the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Cavendish.
Sir Chris Hoy, who was named in the squad for track cycling, was, however, not pleased with the selection of Millar to the Great Britain Olympic team. Hoy doesn’t have anything personal against his fellow Scotsman and stated that he will have no problems in welcoming him to the team with open arms but his inclusion in the side sends out the wrong message to the youngsters.
But Hoy did mention that it was unfortunate that the ban by the British Olympic Association on David Millar has been overturned but as long as someone lines up next to him in a British jersey, he will not have any problems.
Shane Sutton, the head cycling coach of Great Britain had suggested that the decision of not riding in Tour de France by Geraint Thomas is not accepted.
This has not gone down well with Geraint Thomas, who feels that even though the Tour de France is a huge tour, it is second to the chance to compete in the London Olympics. Geraint Thomas, 25years of age, had decided to give the Tour de France a miss this year so that he could focus completely on winning the gold at the Olympics held in London this year. He has always wanted to win gold at the Olympics and now when he has the opportunity to win, he refuses to back down.
Geraint Thomas had helped Great Britain win old in the World Track Cycling Championships held in Melbourne this year. Geraint Thomas had won gold in the Beijing Olympics in the team pursuit and he wants to win this year as well and become the fourth Welsh to win gold multiple times at the Olympics. He said that since the beginning of the year his ultimate goal was the Olympic and he would not jeopardize it in any way.
Geraint Thomas believed that participating in the Tour de France would have made him split his loyalty and focus and it wouldn’t have been good for either of the competitions and hence he had to decide on giving the Tour a miss this season. The Olympics this time is more special because it will held In London and he wouldn’t miss out on it for anything. Had the Olympic been held somewhere else, he would have participated in the Tour de France as well.
Geraint Thomas said that the Olympics tam is all ready and mentally prepared for the games and everybody is hungry to win big at the Olympics because winning it in London would be special.
Three time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador will learn his fate in the doping case at the end of this month, according to the statement released by the International Court of Arbitration for Sports.
The press release by the court on its website also goes on to justify the delay in the case, adding that when the independence of the panel was questioned, there was nothing else that could have been done.
It was reported in the media a few weeks back that some of the sports bodies have raised questions regarding the integrity of the three member panel particularly that of the chairman Efraim Barak and the court, according to the statement also asked the concerned bodies to provide proof, but none of the parties decided to move forward with the speculation.
Alberto Contador, who won the Tour de France three times in 2007, 2009 and 2010, was found guilty of having the banned substance clenbuterol in his body but according to the defense counsel, the substance entered into his body thanks to the contaminated beef that he ate during the Tour de France event in 2010.
However, after the final hearing of the case on the 24th of November, 2011, it was expected that the International Court of Arbitration for Sports would deliver a verdict by the beginning of the New Year but the delays thanks to the speculations about the integrity of the panel has kept his future hanging in the balance.
However, the Spaniard and his entourage and Spanish Cycling Federation still believe that in spite of the delay, they will deliver a positive verdict and that will enable him to compete at this year’s Tour de France for a fourth crown and also allow him to take part in the upcoming London Olympic Games of 2012.